Ele­phant in room – wa­ter

Shepparton News - - NEWS -

Wa­ter, farm rates and roads were the talk of the town at the VFF’s can­di­date fo­rum held at Shep­par­ton’s GV Ho­tel on Wed­nes­day night.

While most of the VFF’s elec­tion asks (rates, en­ergy, roads, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and an­i­mal wel­fare) were dis­cussed, it was the topic of wa­ter — which was not listed — that cre­ated the most dis­cus­sion.

VFF pres­i­dent David Jochinke said wa­ter was unique to the Shep­par­ton fo­rum and he was pleased with how the night played out.

‘‘We had 60 peo­ple here dis­cussing some of the key is­sues for the area.

‘‘Re­ally en­gaged peo­ple want­ing to ask key ques­tions and one of those key top­ics was wa­ter and it was fan­tas­tic to see some re­ally good ques­tions but also to see what the can­di­dates ac­tu­ally stood for.’’

All five can­di­dates an­swered nine ques­tions from the f loor, with re­new­able en­ergy and farm rates find­ing some air among the wa­ter-fo­cused ques­tions.

The non-men­tion of wa­ter in the VFF’s asks did not go un­no­ticed, with ev­ery can­di­date puz­zled about the de­ci­sion.

In­cum­bent Suzanna Sheed was the most crit­i­cal say­ing she was ‘‘f lab­ber­gasted’’ it was not in­cluded.

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